Presentation on theme: "Sheep - 2. Good grazing & moderate stocking rate-continued for 3- 4wks after pregnancy - Proper embryo development Mid Pregnancy-can be fed on low."— Presentation transcript:
Sheep - 2
Good grazing & moderate stocking rate-continued for 3- 4wks after pregnancy - Proper embryo development Mid Pregnancy-can be fed on low nutrition- to maintain weight 75% foetal growth during final 6-8 weeks- Hay/silage +conc (15%P) + vit/min mix Steaming up –gradual
During the last two months of pregnancy, the unborn foetus grows very rapidly and the ewe’s udder development increases accordingly before the onset of lambing. Because of this growth and development, the nutritional demands of the ewe increases also. This is called STEAMING UP! Because the foetus is growing so rapidly inside the ewe, there is little room available for the digestive system of the sheep.
Amount of conc. Should be gradually to a max of 0.5kg/ewe/day single and 0.7kg/ewe/day twins Failure to feed inadequately pregnancy toxaemia Rams don’t graze normally during mating-thin & weak – lush pasture & fed conc. Ewes should be housed prior to lambing
1. What is steaming up? 2. Discuss the feeding regime for the pregnant ewe.
Lambing date should be known - records kept. Do not interfere but inspect Small weak lambs should be taken care of. The ewe must be carefully observed for signs of the onset of labour. The lambing process is usually straight forward and trouble free. It is also important to have an experienced person on hand and to call a vet if difficulties arise.
Once the lamb is born, mucus and other discharges must be cleared from the nasal passage of the lamb and signs of breathing are noted. The navel is then sprayed with a iodine to prevent naval ill. Small weak lambs need special attention and are placed under an infa red lamp to prevent chills. They are also bottle fed if too weak to feed for themselves. Glucose can also be given to animals who are weak as it is a good energy source.
Colostrum is absolutely vital for the newborn as it builds up there immune system, is highly nutritious and is also a laxative. The ewes teats are checked in order to insure that colostrum/ milk is being produced by the ewe. Vaccinations are also administrated to help prevent many diseases.
Lambs are ruminants so it is very important to develop there rumen. Hay/silage and concentrates are fed to introduce micro organisms into there rumen. They are also given fresh access to water at all times. Feed is very often fed to them in the creep feeding process which is where they are given access to concentrates, etc through a small gap in the fence. This gap is too small for the ewe to pass through but small enough for the lamb to pass through. When a lamb is born it weighs about 3 to 5 kg’s. They are fed a ration that contains 16% protein for muscle development to help them reach there target weight at slaughter of 40kgs in six months.
Growth rate depends on amount of milk produced which depends on ewe’s level of nutrition. Early lambs (Dec-Feb) = hay/silage & concentrates until spring grass Late lambs (march) = grass provides all nutrition needs of suckling ewes
As year progresses lambs graze more & growth rate become less dependent on milk Creep feeding of both grass & Conc.
By the time the lambs are 10 days old, they will have access to a creep area for creep feeding. A creep is a pen that is fenced so that young animals can enter but adults cannot. Creep feed is feed given to young nursing lambs. The lambs will also have access to fresh water, high quality hay, and minerals in the creep area. This allows for the lambs to get the all the food they need but still have access to their mother if not properly weaned.
Tail docking is carried out in the first week of the lamb’s life. This involves removing the lamb’s tail. All lowland sheep have their tails docked / removed but some farmers just remove the ewe’s tails only. In addition, all ram lambs not intended for breeding are CASTRATED. Castration and tail docking are performed with the same tool – the “elastrator”.
This tool stretches a special strong rubber ring so that it can be placed around the tail or the scrotum! This stops circulation in those areas and they eventually just fall off!!! In this time (after lambing) the ewe’s appetite also increases dramatically and she drinks a lot of water. Concentrates should be used until good grass is available for the lactating ewe. Then precautions should be taken when on good grass against grass tetany. Grass tetany is caused by low Mg levels in the grass.
Lambs sold before June 1 st continue to suckle until time of sale Lambs being kept weaned June Lambs & ewes are separated for 7 days Ewes go dry When weaned lambs & ewes MAY graze together Lambs are put in good quality grass to keep them growing Ewes are put in poor pastures- this keeps them from gaining weight & has them ready for flushing prior to mating
Lambs are weaned at 12 – 14 weeks old unless already sold for slaughter! They should be dosed before moving onto fresh pasture, and then every three to six weeks. The lambs should be kept on clean / good quality pasture all the time. The ewe is placed on poor pasture. Why? So that they are “dried up” and so that they will not be too fat when flushed the following year. Vaccination of the lambs should take place regularly against clostridial diseases. (Initially after 6 weeks and then every six weeks) Creep feeding should be used to feed the lambs.
Lowland sheep are shorn before the end of May. If wool production is important to the farmer, then particular attention is given to the date of shearing and the shearing is done when the wool rises (weather dependant) Sheep should not be sheared if their stomachs are over full or when they are in heat.
Two weeks after shearing the sheep receive their summer dip. This is to prevent “fly strike”. This refers to the blowfly or the green bottle fly, which lays its eggs in the fleece and maggots grow quickly. Six months after lambing the booster injection against clostridial diseases is administered.
Outline the key stages in the management of the lamb from birth to weaning. What is the purpose of sheep dip and shearning?